Q: How will I know I’m ready for a mentor session or to submit a recording for my EPC (Erickson Professional Coach) or ECPC (Erickson Certified Professional Coach)?
A: Well, first you have to start recording coaching sessions!
Have you recorded your coaching sessions yet? Not sure how to get started recording or worried about the results? Feeling Stuck? Here are some answers and questions to help you get started. (Consider answering the questions in italics as you read the article to get you on the path to your EPC or ECPC)
Which Coaching Sessions Should I Record?
The more sessions you record, the more comfortable you get with the process of recording, as do your fellow learners and clients. Start with your Erickson colleagues, particularly the colleagues that you are most comfortable coaching. After you practice with your colleagues, move on to the more challenging types of sessions, and then on to your clients.
What About Technology Concerns?
It’s not just about getting comfortable knowing that you are being recorded, but it’s also about getting comfortable with the technology.
- Remember to start and stop the recordings. What might be one way you can support yourself to remember?
- You will need to regularly download your recordings from Webex because each free account offers only 256 MB of allocated storage space. It’s important to rename them, sort and store them for listening and learning, as well as for choosing sessions to share later with a mentor. How can you best support yourself organizationally to remember to download files and name/file them so you can find them later?
- There are lots of connection and recording applications. If you are having trouble converting .arf files from Webex to MP3/MP4, or just having trouble with Webex, try using Skype, FreeConferenceCall.com, your phone or FaceTime and record using a QuickTime application or another recorder on your phone. There are many options available, find what works best for you. Who might you ask to support you with the technology?
What About Coach To Client Confidentiality?
- Respectfully and kindly, ask your clients before sessions if they are willing to allow you to record sessions. Explain that the recordings will be completely confidential. Offer to password protect them when sending them to your mentors. Which of your clients might respond best to your request? How could you word your request to encourage more clients to support your learning process?
- Write out a statement that you will use to request permission for recording at the beginning of each recorded session, eg.:
“Hello, this is Milton Erickson, with Jane on September 15th, 2016 at 830 am PST. Jane, do I have your permission to record this session? And Jane, as we’ve discussed, this recording will be kept confidential, but may I ask your permission to share this recording with my mentors at Erickson Coaching International who will delete it as soon as they’ve listened to it?”
Minding The Arrow.
Laminate a copy of the Arrow, the Logical Levels Graphic and the As-If Shift Graphic, and any other graphics you find useful. Put them in a prominent location on your desk. Which graphics would be most helpful for you? How will these and other graphics support you to be the coach that you most want to be? What else might you do to easily mind your learnings while immersed in a coaching session?
Schedule a Mentor Session or work with a colleague to support your EPC application.
- If you have recordings, schedule a mentor session. Follow the directions in your Module V Student Manual.
- If you are going for your EPC, are there colleagues you could work with to hone your skills for your submissions?
- If you don’t have recordings, schedule a session a few weeks in the future and start recording!
- Consider: Why is scheduling a mentor session important to you? Who might you become as you progress through your mentor sessions? What might be holding you back from scheduling a session? How could you navigate that obstacle and feel ready to schedule a session?
Prepare for Your Mentor Sessions and review submissions for your EPC.
- Ask yourself: What do I want to get out of this mentor session?
- Are you working on honing a particular technique? For example, your tone of voice, keeping sessions to 30 minutes and/or remembering to effectively use a particular part of the arrow? If so, choose one intention for a few coaching sessions. Make that skill your “focus point” for 3-5 coaching sessions. What else might you do to support practicing that focus point? What focus points are most important to you today? When will you update that list?
- Perhaps you are hoping for some more confidence in your skills? Then choose a recording that you feel is particularly good, maybe even run it by a coaching colleague you trust. Focus on working with colleagues or clients which whom you feel a connection. What else might you do to gain confidence?
- Perhaps you want feedback on the intention you chose to work on for a few of your coaching sessions? Choose a session for which you feel your mentor might have the most feedback to offer you, whether it’s as What Worked Well (WWW) or Even Better If (EBI). Let your mentor know what your “focus-point” was for those coaching sessions.
- Perhaps you had a really challenging session with a coaching client? Choose that session to share with a mentor. Let them know that this was a challenging session for you and ask them for feedback that you can use effectively in the future.
- Re-listen to your recordings before choosing one to share with your mentor. Write down your thoughts, questions, and WWWs or EBIs. Consider sharing the session with a colleague you trust first as a way to build your confidence in sharing the session with a mentor-expert. What else would support you in preparing for mentor sessions or submissions for the EPC?
Are you ready to start recording? Are you ready for a mentor session? Still stuck? What about self-coaching or having a coaching colleague take you through the Logical Levels, a Mentor’s Table, Values Based Self-Image or other exercise to get you there?
Good luck and happy coaching!